Five children are left without a mother after she was hit and killed by an elderly driver in southwest Bakersfield. Bakersfield police say 94-year-old Judith Barr was driving north on Akers Road when she hit 43-year-old Jenny Rodriguez, who was walking east across the street.
"My sister has five beautiful, wonderful kids that she was extremely close to," said Sandy Landa, Rodriguez's sister. "It's not believable. It's unbelievable right now, and we're just trying to understand what happened."
Rodriguez lived in a mobile home off Akers Road. Her family says she rode her bicycle everywhere.
"You can talk to anyone. She's always smiling, listening to Chicago on her headphones. Everybody knew her. Avid bike rider, and she loved her bike as if it was one of her children," said Landa.
But, on Thursday morning, Rodriguez walked to and from work. Her family said she works nights caring for an elderly woman.
"She was hit, struck by a car, by an elderly woman. She didn't have her earphones. She didn't have her cell phone. We're not understanding what happened," said Landa.
Akers Road, near Jaspar Avenue, was shut down for several hours Thursday morning as Bakersfield police tried to piece together what happened.
"I pulled over to take a phone call on the side of the road and then that's when I heard first. It sounded like a car crash, and then I saw the lady fall over," said Brandon West, an eyewitness.
Witnesses say the driver appeared to be in shock. "She didn't really know what was going on. She was kind of asking us questions," continued West.
The accident happened near Loudon Elementary School, an area clearly marked for drivers but, on Thursday morning, it was marked for a life lost.
"We'd also like to thank the good person who lovingly put a blanket over her after she was hit," said Landa. "Some people just drive by accidents and my sister was not one to do that. I thank that person for covering my sister and not letting her be just another accident."
Police couldn't tell 17 News if Barr will face charges or if Rodriguez was walking in a crosswalk.
Rodriguez is Kern County's 21st pedestrian hit and killed by a car this year.